The Positive Arc of Systemic Strengths: How Appreciative Inquiry and Sustainable Designing Can Bring Out the Best in Human Systems



Journal of Corporate Citizenship, vol. 46, pp. 32, May 2013


The Positive Arc of Systemic Strengths’ explores the important question: when is it that the best in human systems comes out most naturally and easily—especially in collective action, planning, and design initiatives encompassing regions and cities, extended enterprises, industries and UN level world summits? By analysing the performance and impacts of six case studies of the ‘whole system in the room’ Appreciative Inquiry design summit, this article provides a bird’s eye view of the opportunities, challenges and exciting new vistas opening up in this, the collaborative age—a time when systemic action and macromanagement skill are the primary leverage points for game-changing innovation, scalable solutions and industry leadership. While management innovation is rare, this article proposes that the tools are at hand for us to stand up, step up and scale up as we build a world where businesses can excel, people can thrive and nature can flourish.

David Cooperrider